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I'm waiting for Simon Fischer 's new book, "Double Stops", due out this month!


23 Responses
Posted: February 24, 2016
Last Comment: July 3, 2016

Elke Meier
Posted: July 3, 2016
Oh, Chris, it just cracks me up when people like you mention their advanced age :). I always wish I had started with the violin at your youthful age... Just imagine where I would be today! So glad to hear that you are back at playing.

Posted: July 3, 2016
Hi Diane,

I took great comfort from the answer he gave to this question of  Laurie's:

"Is it possible to cultivate good double stops at an older age? Is there an age past which it's a little harder? What are the benefits of starting earlier?"

His answer is too long to quote here, but it's more than encouraging for adult beginners like me.

I suspect I'm not quite at the right level for this book yet, but I've recently recommitted myself to the violin after letting things slide a bit when 'life' bumped me off course ;-) so hopefully I'll catch up and be able to take advantage of the book soon.

Posted: July 3, 2016
Great interview by Laurie on violinist.com
Thanks Chis for putting up the link to the new Double-Stop book that S. Fischer wrote. 
I just finished reading it (the article in violinist.com) and the book sounds amazing in the way he has structured his exercises from the ground up. 
Stay tuned. Diane 

Posted: July 2, 2016
A bit more info about the book can be found here in an interview with Simon Fischer:


Dianne, how have you been getting on with the book now that you've had a bit of time to plunder its depths?

Posted: May 11, 2016
Dianne, thanks for this great review!! I'm sure it will be helpful for lots of people. I'm not there yet, but I'll definitely put it on my wish list for the future.

Posted: May 10, 2016
Simon Fischer's new book, Double Stops - Scales and scale exercises for the violin, is 346 pages of the best laid out double stop exercises for the violin player I have ever seen. I cannot even imagine the editing cycle on such a work. Like Scales, there is an introductory section of just a couple of pages that gives the instructions for carrying out the exercises in each section. One has to read carefully if not familiar with double stopping in everyday practice sessions already. The book takes each of  the 24 Major/Minor keys starting with C Major and begins with an extensive 20-step exercise in Thirds. This is followed in the same key, if the violinist wishes to go further, in Sixths, then Octaves, Fingered Octaves and finally Tenths. Simon Fischer's intricate detailing of the steps of double stops is a treasure. What impresses me the most about this book is the simplicity of its layout, although this is far from a simplistic topic! Because of its detailed step-by-step approach, it invites the player to begin to absorb double stops in all their applications. It gives that bigger picture that Beth and Violin Lab try to give us for later, even though we may not be anywhere near playing Sixths, Octaves or Tenths. We can see how they all fit and what their intention is for the violin player, the effects on the violinist's playing as well as remembering the more advanced double stop's inclusion in advanced repertoire. Now we can see on paper what is going on with the player's left hand, but with a description in the introduction of how to approach it. Without a doubt, this is not a beginner's book, and an intermediate player will need the guidance of a teacher to begin in Thirds, but a tenacious advanced intermediate player, and advanced players, can take the book and run. If it wasn't for Beth's Thirds videos, I would not be able to start on Thirds in this book without my teachers help. Thank you Beth- your G Major videos and your explanations of how to avoid tension in the hand are priceless and necessary to get me (or other intermediate players perhaps) going. Otherwise I would be stunned just looking at the index! It is not intuitive! Like Beth, Simon Fischer also caringly describes how to avoid tension in the left hand, and even gives a rhythmic routine to follow to lay the fingers down to avoid tension and to get in the flow. This warning to avoid tension when playing double stops, which exponentially increases as the player advances to more complex double stopping, is critical, and the teacher's help in this area is much appreciated. This is a book I can grow into and, as Simon Fischer has stated in the introduction, with over a year of application in his own studio before publication, it promises to necessarily improve my intonation and familiarity of the complete and complex scale work expected of an advanced violinist, but perhaps never fully achieved, without years of consistent, focused practice and patience.

Beth's Videos in Thirds:

Posted: April 29, 2016
Hi Diane, Warming up is 24 pages with music examples for exercises on each page. The layout of the book resembles examples from Basics, only geared toward warming up, and the book is very thin.

Posted: April 29, 2016
Simon Fischer's Book…Warming up
Hi Dianne…thanks for the nice layout of the Book: "Warming Up". I was not aware of this book and it sounds good from what you wrote.  Did you get it on Amazon? Does is come with sheet music and is it written in the style of his other books.  I admit I have his other books…but I do not use them, I have loaned them to my violin teacher. I do have The Violin Lesson and love that book and his DVD on Tone Production.  I might try and look into the book Warming Up.  How big a book is it?
Thanks again and stay tuned. Diane in SoCal

Posted: April 29, 2016
Double Stops now available‏
Simon Fischer's long awaited new book Double Stops is now available! You may now remark (unofficially) your Simon Fischer Scales Book: Single Stops!



Posted: March 14, 2016
Hi Barbara,

I have to admit, I purchased all of Simon Fischer's books & DVDs, but I have not used them all yet- not familiar with everything yet. Warming Up I never looked @ at all! I just opened it and took the time to go through it.

#1 Left Hand - Yow, this is too advanced for my hand right now, but I am going to work on it later. It resembles a beginner version that was assigned to me.

#2 Widening @ the base joints- I like these and they feel good in the hand.

#3 Light Left Hand- Nice.

#4 Trills- I need these but I take them in small amounts.

#5 Right Hand & Arm- These are all doable and really nice, tons of exercises to do in chunks throughout the week.

#6 Vibrato- Very nice exercises!

#7 Intonation- Also very nice!

#8 Shifting- I like that it includes coming back down higher finger to lower finger.

Nice book- looks like only #1 is intimidating to my hand (tension).

Barbara Habel
Posted: March 11, 2016
I got the sheetmusic and then DVD for the warming up. Well the sheetmusic might just as well be in arabic. The DVD is definitely necessary to make sense of the sheetmusic. I´ll have to work my way through it slowly. I think I might as well buy the Schradiek. I´ve got 1 page of the Schradiek and I like it. The Simon Fischer is more an all round warm up and not so specific to the fingering/left hand as the Schradiek.

Elke Meier
Posted: March 6, 2016
Josephine Trott does not have exercises like the Whistler book. It is just what the title says: Melodious etudes. Beth has an introduction to the book in a short video. I have the combined edition, which has a high C in places in the second part, but I don't know whether she would do that with an extended 4th finger or by shifting into another position. 

My only work with double stops has been in preparation for a Pleyel duet more than a year ago. At that time I posted my initial ordeal with it - if you tune out all the not quite right intonation and the bowing problems you might still be able to imagine how beautiful this very simple tune really is. And that was just the very first piece in the book! I am looking forward to getting back to it, but I guess it will be a while yet...

Posted: March 6, 2016
If I've understood the blurb from the Simon Fischer book correctly, it is not going to be like the Whistler book or Josephine Trott's book (Vo1 & 2 can now be bought in a single volume).

It's about getting a good foundation to scales, here's a bit of the blurb:

This book enables you to isolate the separate components of double stop scales so that you can practise and polish each element on its own, before putting everything together in the complete scale.

Link: http://www.simonfischeronline.com/double-stops.html

Posted: March 6, 2016
Thank you Barbara, nothing I found described the book as far as positions, or showed an index, so that was very helpful! I think I still might get it because it must be good if VLabbers are using it! Thanks again!

Barbara Habel
Posted: March 5, 2016

The Josephine Trott Volumne 1 is in first position only. I don´t know whether the second book by her is in positions.

So you might be better off with the Whistler book if you want to play double stops in positions

Posted: March 3, 2016
Hi Barbara, Yes I did see that book-thanks! I'm kind of stuck on Whistler- I like the dry presentation because it is very well thought out- it also moves into positions. Do  you know what positions the Melodious Double Stop Books go to?
You can look inside Whistler here:

Barbara Habel
Posted: March 3, 2016
I´ve got the Violin Lesson and I like it.

Now I´ve ordered the Warm up sheetmusic and the DVDs.

Thank you Diane for making me aware of them.

Are you aware of the Josephine Trotts Melodic Doublestops?

Posted: March 2, 2016
Hi Chris, Yes, I guess the intention is to go through some aspect of the technical workouts in Basics daily, and Practice is for when someone needs to work on passages in pieces. Simon Fischer says the books are double bound and can be bent backwards many times to make them lie flat w/o ripping apart, at least for many years. Nice to know. Looks like Double Stops could come out any time now- it's probably not easy to meet a deadline when publishing a book, because of unexpected delays in just @ any aspect of it. Can hardly wait to see it, though!

Posted: March 2, 2016
Just discovered this PDF of the contents and sample pages of the Practice book:


Posted: March 2, 2016
Hi Dianne,

Thanks for the short book reviews. I've got, Basics, The Violin Lesson, Scales and Warming Up.

The Practice book sounds intriguing, and the blurb suggests it's a book for the table not the music stand, so I'm not sure quite what to expect, maybe I'll take a chance on it one day.

The Double Stops book hopefully will be out soon, I can't find any info on it, so I don't know it it will be slimline the 'Warm up" or another several hundred page volume like the Violin lesson ;-)

Posted: February 24, 2016
Hi Chris, I just went through all my books and DVDs from Simon Fischer and made a list, a sort of book review for them. :) This is something that I've wanted to do for along time and maybe it will be help someone else, too.  There is just so much great information here that sometimes I get lost if I haven't looked at them in long time to remember just what each has to offer. 

I also just want to say to those beginning the violin, that you don't need to get any of these books or DVDs because Violin Lab has everything- they are just a very nice resource to build your library when you want to do extra credit work. They make great presents, too.:) And if you do decide to purchase one of these resources, please look carefully at the intended audience-some are for intermediate and up only. I show the author's price in pounds because some of the web prices seem outlandish-you do not have to pay more than the author's price converted to your currency plus shipping etc..

BASICS- ~231 pages £24.00
This book is intended to give professional string players warm-up exercises, teachers technique building exercises for their students, and self learners help to teach themselves fundamental technique. The book is written like an encyclopedic reference- if this is kept in mind, then the book will be found very useful to self starters who want to target an area in which they need to improve. The book  contains 300 exercises and practice routines for the violin that encompass all violin technique.

PRACTICE- ~336 pages £26.00
This book is filled with practice methods for passages. It is written for players of every level-student to professional. It contains 250 step-by-step practice methods for the violin. The book contains measures from standard solo violin repertoire, and to each one is applied a practice technique.

THE VIOLIN LESSON- ~341 pages £28.00
This book is a manual for teaching and self teaching the violin. It contains 12 lessons, many photographs & examples, and covers the basic violin techniques of tone production, intonation, avoiding aches  and pains, changing position, improving bow strokes, vibrato.

SCALES- ~201 pages £22.00
The goal of the book is to help to give students fluency in 3 octave scales & arpeggios in all keys, followed by the few 4 octave keys. The book is designed for intermediate violin players through professional. A highlight of the book is thinking about the true symmetry of the scale. Also, scale books or master classes tend to demonstrate one scale and expect the student to apply the method to all scales-this book tries to list them all out. The author writes, "The three basic building blocks of music are pitch, sound and rhythm. When a scale or arpeggio is played at the highest standard it is entirely even in all three." In the summary on the back page is written, "For every element he has designed exercises that sensitise the ear, stimulate the mind and build the playing apparatus of the violinist." I opened up this book and just saw scales with no explanations for how-to-execute them on each page. This is not so different from other scale books, though. I think it is important to read the NOTES section on page 2 & 3 to see an explanation of the symbols used throughout the book. I have a feeling that if I go through the book slowly, I will come to like using it very much.

Favorite warm-up routines of the author that comprise ~30 minutes of exercises for the left hand, right hand and arm, vibrato, intonation, and shifting. They can be played 1-2 times a week or spread throughout the week to give a long lasting benefit to the player.


WARMING UP VIOLIN (DVDs)- 2 DVDs: 3 hours 42 minutes £40.00
Two violinists are guided through the 30 minute exercises in the 'Warming Up' book on intonation, vibrato, and tone production. The DVDs also cover left finger action, shifting, release of tension, fast trills, right hand flexibility, and the straight bow. Filmed on 30 May and 26 June 2011.

TONE: - ~102 pages £20.00
This book is designed for the bow arm. The index shows these areas: "Speed-pressure-soundpoint, speed not pressure, purity of tone, evenness, letting the bow play, listening to the ring, playing musically, not compromising on beauty and quality of one." Designed for near beginner to concert violinist.

THE SECRETS OF TONE PRODUCTION DVDs- 2 DVDs: 4 hours 10 minutes £40.00
For Violin/Viola/Cello/Bass
These DVDs are designed for the bow arm. I purchased them along with the book, TONE. The DVDs are lengthy, mesmerizing & fact filled, and I watch them over and over and still have not found the end to the information. I have read where some people do not enjoy the slow, methodical approach to the DVD- I do very much. Frequent breaks and a notepad might be needed because it is packed with information to process. Five essential exercises are demonstrated on multiple stringed instruments. Designed for near beginner to concert violinist. Covers: quality of sound, resonance, isolating the elements, playing musically, proportions, bowing parallel to the bridge, making the perfect change of bow, the qualities of the bow/hair/string, and more.


Posted: February 24, 2016
Hi Dianne, I've got three of Simon Fischer's books, and I really should make far more use of them as they are excellent. I was not aware of his latest book and it really does sound like it would be useful having just read the blurb on his site. Thanks for mentioning it.

All the best, Chris

Posted: February 24, 2016
The book looks to be designed to help us to play our scales the best possible way, by using focused double stop practice methods, and to get excellent results from these methods. Every other resource that I have purchased from Simon Fischer, for instance the Tone DVD, has done just that- given me incredible results, so I can hardly wait for this book to be available any day now...it may be available in Europe 1st, we'll see!